Thursday, November 30, 2006

TV Doctor Showdown! Dr Gregory House MD

This All Scubbed Up series gets underneath the fake blood, fake smiles and excessive use of shock paddals…

Who? Dr Gregory House MD
His Playground? House MD

An impersonal genius who harks back to the glory days of chauvinistic medicine.

Hot or Not: [3 out of 10] – No better looking than Dr Cox. I might get hit with the cane if he doesn’t like this answer.

Apparent Medical Skill: [8 out of 10] – A few good ideas, and a lot of luck. Excessive use of trial and error method. The bugger often treats up to 6 differentials - poor patients end up undergoing numerous cardiac arrests, seizures and anaphylactic reactions. Seizure hit-rate way too high for one doctor!

Bedside Manner: [3 out of 10] – Issues with race. Obsessed with white boards and black markers. Patients would hate him. Students would be amused… and then terrified. No-one likes the guy who says what we’re all actually thinking. Horrible rash, Dr House. Well, that’s fine, at least he won’t have to live with it for more than a week – being dead and all.

Ability to survive in Baragwanath: [6 out of 10] – Patient contact way too high. Bara is like a clinic-time hell. And patient histories would pose a problem. What would really kill it though is that his rare diagnostic skills would be absolutely wasted. Bara just doesn’t seem to get the incidence of rare tropical diseases that plagues his poor hospital. From leprosy to Cushing’s in an afternoon? Then again, arguing with myself – he’s got a super team. They have this uncanny ability to be porters, radiographers, psychologists, investigative reporters, hospital management, lab technicians, devilishly good-looking and rare-disease-diagnostic-experts all in one. THAT would be useful. The porters at Bara have tea.

What would I say if I woke up in his ward? Not much. He wouldn’t be there.

Doctor Showdown SCORE
[5 out of 10]

He’s everyone’s anti-hero. Personality of a huggable walrus. Too high maintenance. Manto wouldn’t tolerate him.

Use Buzzfuse* to easily rate, review, and share this item

Monday, November 27, 2006

Red Bull + Jagermeister = Rape Cocktail

Spotted in The Saturday Star, a wonderfully non-investigative lambasting of Energy Drink Cocktails. Hold on tight - this one's gonna get tabloid.

Firstly, let's state the obvious. People who drink a lot, don't remember what happens to them. Duh. Yes, by adding stimulants like caffeinated energy drinks, you're slightly masking how drunk you really are. But the cold hard truth remains, it's not the energy drinks causing young girls to wake up in a stranger's bed - it's the 7 vodkas that got mixed with it.

Nothing has changed. You drink 7 vodkas. You get plonked.

So, let's analyse. The article reads like a high-school scare poster. BIG warnings about drinking energy drinks, going to the bathroom in pairs an avoiding scary men... but coffee and espresso cause the same medical issues! If you suffer from high blood pressure or pre-existing heart disease, even a wild afternoon in the coffee shop can be as dangerous.

What they say is vague and generic enough to be true, but it's completely sensationalist. Can you imagine the ignorant, the parents and the tee-totalers running around all panicky over the cheeky Red Bull they had last night? To compare it to Rohypnol is irresponsible and likely to attract a lawsuit from both Red Bull and Jagermeister, who have been plastered over this article like a Tokoloshe on the front page of the Daily Sun! What could have been a scientific re-examination of an old argument, shed in some kind of new light, has been turned into tabloid rubbish.

Christine/Shereen (the esteemed journalists), please focus on the real dangers that beset ladies in the clubbing world. Real, scary drugs that get slipped in people's drinks all the time. And the big bad men that do it. Not this crap.

If you don't believe us? Trust the Google Diagnosis (that wonderful laymans approach to Googling your symptoms or suspected problems). In fact, there's so much Google Diagnosis that I'm convinced The Saturday Star was on a tight deadline and rehashed the same crap that's been around for as long as drunk kids in clubs. Please, oh please, take the following articles with a pinch of salt!

Friday, November 24, 2006

TV Doctor Showdown! Dr Perry Cox.

This All Scubbed Up series gets underneath the fake blood, fake smiles and excessive use of shock paddals…

Who? Dr Perry Cox.

His Playground? Sacred Heart Hospital, Scrubs.

With quotable quotes like: “God? My brilliance is becoming quite a burden…” Ol’ Perry is fighting for first tee-off in the I-Am-God-Fourball (with Gregory House MD… of course).

Hot or Not: [4 out of 10] – He takes his shirt off all the time. Which is OK. But doesn’t lift him out of the realms of George Clooney’s ugly cousin. In fact, he’s not the eye candy I watch the show for (Dr. John Dorian has those crazy eyes!)

Apparent Medical Skill: [8 out of 10] – It’s a swoop in, swoop out, recite the diagnosis and the differentials type affair. He’s the typical Physician who knows his stuff. Has uncanny ability to impart wise teachings while belittling the life out of you. Make him your doctor. Don’t beat him at basketball.

Bedside Manner: [3 out of 10] – Has strange ability to extend one word into unusual amount of syllables. Re-he-he-he-he-he-he-heally… Also tends to confus the gender of male colleagues. Frequently. Pretty intimidating, really.

Ability to survive in Baragwanath: [9 out of 10] – A Baragwanath hero in the making. Completely tough nut to crack. No bending under 180-patients-in-one-night pressure. Deals with drunks, malingerers, psychotics and self-diagnosing Indian ladies with clinical efficiency.

What would I say if I woke up in his ward? Nothing. Anything I say would be used against me. Just let him do what he does.

Doctor Showdown SCORE
[6 out of 10]

Consummate medical skill unfortunately pulled down by odd gender bias and fascination with own pecks. Helluva teacher though. Wish I’d had someone like him in Anat Path.

Use Buzzfuse* to easily rate, review, and share this item

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The largest hospital in the world!

So, Google Maps just opened its warm capitalist arms to South Africa. We took a quick trip to show the world of blogging... Baragwanath Hospital. Old Bara is apparently the biggest hospital in the world by bed count. It's also the most multi-cultural Doctor-fest around. SA Doc had a Russian, Yugoslavian, Pakistanian, Congonese, Indian and 4 South Africans... just in one unit!

Feast your eyes ladies and gents. Note size of shacks bottom left and houses middle top. Just under 2km in diameter - no wonder the porters laze off.

Use Buzzfuse* to easily rate, review, and share this item

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

TV Doctor Showdown! Meredith Grey...

This All Scubbed Up series gets underneath the fake blood, fake smiles and excessive use of shock paddals…

Who? Meredith Grey.
Her playground? Grey's Anatomy.

Something about Meredith is just so flaky. I don’t know whether it’s the raspy possum-like voice used to narrate her way around the pitfalls of sleeping with her colleagues… Or, the mousy I-wish-I-was-the-girl-next-door looks.

Let’s be fair. It’s just the first season.

Hot or Not: [6 out of 10] – You kinda think she would look hot. And then she kinda does, but kinda doesn’t. I just don’t know with this one. It’s hot, but condescending I-went-to-a-better-private-school-than you hot.

Apparent Medical Skill: [5 out of 10] - Maybe as a psychiatrist she’d get a higher score. Although definite minus points for having a cry while shagging the shy doctor (George). Was expecting a better performance out of dear Meredith. With that name, and those “mature” looks – she must have bummed around as a Chicken Licken sales lady before becoming an Intern. Just not fresh-faced and innocent enough.

Bedside Manner: [5 out of 10] - That flaky voice just doesn’t inspire much confidence.

Ability to survive in Baragwanath: [1 out of 10] – She’d cry on the first day, sleep with all her mates and then get vomited on by that drunk guy. This would obviously ruin those designer pyjamas. Tickets.

What would I say if I woke up in her ward? Does this come in a nurse outfit?

Doctor Showdown SCORE
[4.25 out of 10]

But then you didn’t really have to be a good doctor to make it onto TV, did you?

Use Buzzfuse* to easily rate, review, and share this item

Monday, November 20, 2006

An HIV Zealot?

A DSTV StreetPole ad recently caught my attention. In true DSTV style, it offered out some big words, some sexy pictures and a great special on decoders. It was the words that got me thinking. Score Big. Go Wild. Be Unfaithful. DSTV R599. The Be Unfaithful portion of that ad came complete with smacker lips Rihanna looking seductive (pretty sure it was her).

You can't really fault the ad (can you?) - because then you'd have to fault every magazine cover and E! Entertainment programme this side of 1989. But it does get you thinking though.

In public media, where do you draw the line between sexy, suggestive tease and promoting unsafe behaviour? We live in a country that is more uneducated regarding sexual issues than we care to admit. Just where and when, I wonder, should the public start asking questions?

Or am I just turning into an HIV zealot?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Naked Doctors tradition to continue?

It’s nearing that time of year again. Med Students getting sweaty, trying to cram 6 years of lungs, guns and antibiotics into a mind already warped by the smell of formaldehyde. They’re dosing up on whatever they can get there hands on (with the imminent promise of Schedule 5+ if they can just… get… through… this).

That’s because, after November at the University of Cape Town – 6th year medical students become DOCTORS.

The class of 2003 used to mark these momentous yearly occasions with their own brand of cleansing ritual. The whole class, dressed to theme (Doctors by Day, Victoria Secret by Night was my personal favourite), would flock to an arbitrary building on the side M3. They would quickly and clinically get themselves boozed… and flash the traffic.

This wasn’t any ordinary flashing of the traffic. With stethoscopes flying, lab coats swirling and SA’s finest wiggling their jiggly bit – the event made KFM news 3 years in a row, and was responsible for more than a few dented bumpers.

I’d like to say I met my anonymous SA Doc like that… Idling down the highway, afternoon traffic, sweet sounds of some boy band playing (dial obviously stuck – irony is students just don’t listen to KFM!)… There she would appear, like a vision… Mouth open in a drawn out Savanna-induced whoop of delight. Her nipple catches my eye… It would be love.

But alas, I was usually the sucker holding the bra.

At All Scrubbed, we’re wondering if this great tradition is going to continue – and would like to appeal to our readers to get in touch with any UCT medical student they know. Spread the word – it would be a crime to deprave the M3 of its most exciting yearly onslaught.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Americans investigate guided missile to TERMINATE HIV.

Recently spotted on BodyHack, a Wired Magazine blog about medical stuff. Raised the heckles a tad, no?

"In some cases the best way to fight a fire is to light a fire of your own. But could the best way to fight AIDS possibly be with AIDS?

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are testing the idea that a modified strain of the HIV virus, called a lentivirus, could be turned into a sort of anti-AIDS guided missile that could directly target the HIV virus already in patients. Naturally safety was the primary concern.

The Scientist reports:

One safety concern with using lentiviruses as gene delivery vectors is that they might form replication-competent lentiviruses, but Levine and his colleagues found no evidence of this in any of the patients. Another concern is vector mobilization, which the researchers saw in the first 60 days after injection, but not after that. This mobilization probably doesn't mean the vector isn't safe, said Richard Sutton of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, who was not involved in the study, but he acknowledged that it is "a little bit concerning. Usually we don't like these vectors to jump around once they're inside a person."

While safe, the therapy still has a long way to go before it could be used for treatment. In the trial on 5 patients, only one showed a significant decrease in their viral load. "

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for research, innovation and striving beyond the boundaries of our little human imaginations in order to help cure/prevent the most obnoxious virus of our time... But, typical Americans think that everytime there's a hope and a prayer, it's worth publishing it to the world! Doesn't that grate?

This idea is in its infancy - we've come so much further in our HIV/Aids vaccine studies - yet our media coverage is merely a dribble. Even if this "guided missile" is as potent as they hope, Africa could never afford to use it.

Ain't it kak, in a world of shrinking borders - somethings still push the third world further and further away?

As for the comments, well that just adds fuel to the stereotypical fire - the garlic and parsley brigade can bite my ass. Manto called... she wants her idea back.

Medical Jokes... Bad handwriting results in?

And to end of this Tuesday with a bang (and because no-one died today, or ran around parading a venereal disease) - here's some rather chuckly medical "notes" blunders... Pilfered from Medical Jokes. I guess this is what happens when the bad handwriting thing gets out of control.

Note to self: Idea for further blog posts... Scan copies of scripts / notes and have a handwriting competition. Stereotypes, my ass.

1. The skin was moist and dry.

2. Rectal exam revealed a normal size thyroid.

3. The patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

4. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until 1989 when she got a divorce.

5. Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.

6. The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of gas and crashed.

7. The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.

8. The baby was delivered, the cord clamped and cut, and handed to the pediatrician, who breathed and cried immediately.

9. Exam of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.

10. I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.

11. The patient lives at home with his mother, father, and pet turtle, who is presently enrolled in day care three times a week.

12. Bleeding started in the rectal area and continued all the way to Los Angeles.

13. Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.

14. She is numb from her toes down.

15. Exam of genitalia was completely negative except for the right foot.

16. While in the emergency room, she was examined, X-rated and sent home.

17. The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stockbroker instead.

18. The patient suffers from occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.

19. Coming from Detroit, this man has no children.

20. Examination reveals a well-developed male lying in bed with his family in no distress.

21. Patient was alert and unresponsive.

22. When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.

23. We will follow her eyes and nose with a foley catheter.

24. By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart had stopped, and he was feeling better.

25. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

26. On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it had completely disappeared.

27. The patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in 1983.

28. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.

29. Discharge status: Alive but without permission.

30. Healthy-appearing decrepit sixty-nine-year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful.

31. The patient refused an autopsy.

32. The patient expired on the floor uneventfully.

33. Patient has left his white blood cells at another hospital.

34. The patient's past medical history has been remarkably insignificant, with only a forty-pound weight gain in the past three days.

35. She slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early December.

36. The patient had a rash over his truck.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

All Scrubbed goes cooking with Prixige...

Nope. Not part of the Anarchy Cookbook on interesting ways to heat up an anti-inflammatory - but rather some pharmaceutical DRM (that's Doctor Relationship Management for those in the know).

The Wicked Food Cooking School played host to the latest round of Novartis talks on Prixige's Lumiracoxib - the Cox2 inhibitor (not as rude as it sounds) to end all Cox2 inhibitors - or so they tell me. The introductory speech washed over me like morphine - very few intelligent questions from the nonDoc. Except one interesting case scenario:

56 year old banker. Presenting with Osteo-Arthritis in the knee. Panado just wasn't cutting it because the poor bugger was walking 5km, 4 times a week. Stop me when it's starting to sound like crazy talk... but what 56 year old South African banker has the time to walk 20km a week!? God is in the details after all.

Turns out the answer was easy. Prescribe Lumiracoxib. (PS. That's why doctors are so smart... you can only prescribe Lumiracoxib if you can SAY Lumiracoxib.)

Jokes aside, the message was pretty clear. This wasn't any old anti-inflammatory. And in the days of some pretty serious gastric ulcers - you want a drug with the least gastro-intestinal side effects that also keeps those CV issues (yes, at first I was wondering whether it was my high school or university education that was threatening) at bay. The cardio-vascular ones.

Then to the cooking. At first, I must say, I wondered about the brand connection between an anti-inflammatory and cooking. Then I stopped wondering. As if in a surreal dream, I was cooking next to Barry Lambson. His wife, the lovely Dr. Lambson had hauled him away from the 1987 reruns of Western Province vs. Orange Free State at Newlands. Pharaceutical event. Barry Lambson. Box wine. And some spicy tomato soup.

As the haze of Claret Select finally descended... Barry left me. I think I was taking too long chopping the mushrooms - he went in search of greener pastures - the can opener for a particularly stubborn can of tomoatoes most likely.

All in all, great evening. I was left pining for samples and prepped with enough knowledge to dangerously convince someone I knew what I was talking about.

Can't wait for the Cox3 function.

(Note: Thanks to Dawn and Zama for making it a helluva evening. Also thank to the Wiki Wicked Food School for whipping my culinary skills into shape. Highly recommended.)

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Striking the Medical Ethic

Ran across this video on YouTube... And instead of making up a thousand reasons why I should link to it, it kind of brought up the whole issue of medical ethics. Our friend, Ali, goes on about cloning, euthanasia and plastic surgery - with his own unique brand of "bedside manner". He leaves out one of the most important issues though, one that people don't really think about.

Do doctors strike? Can they?

A couple of months ago, a whole bunch of Zim doctors went on strike - evidently $57 million a month was just not enough. It seems they had to bring their own scalpals to work, which cost $58 million. Ah, what can you do? Seriously though. Good on them. And better on them for sitting in the hospital pub for all but the most critical of patients!

Do our hospitals even have pubs? A quick search revealed basically nothing. The closest we get is a pub 226m underground in a mine shaft in Gold Reef City. That shaft, used to have a hospital.

I digress.

Medical ethics is such a broad blanket protection for everyone we treat - it pretty much prevents us from striking. We're not like lawyers (they don't strike because they can't bill for it) or Pick 'n Pay workers (How hard can it be? Ya Pick. Ya Pay). But we do seem to care.

You can't save a patient if you're on strike. And let's face it, people just don't not get sick.

So, even when this country subjects Interns to more than 90 hours a week (go look up the Basic Conditions of Employment if that doesn't sound like a lot), mediocre pay and such horrific working conditions that the tea room is usually the source of the infection... We still don't strike.

In fact, the most simple task of trying to get a bunch of doctors together to fight with SAMA against the government is nigh impossible. We're too busy caring about others, to fight for ourselves.

What's with that?

Saturday, November 4, 2006

The ForeSkin. Part II. Revenge of the Sif.

Right. As promised... the second post - bringing this whole sticky argument to a head. Cough. If you weren't convinced last time - three more points to try and sway it.

1. You will have a proven, lower risk of contracting STD's - not harbouring crawlies under there will help.

2. You therefore have a lower risk of contracting HIV. Less microtears. And, you did know that STD's and HIV like to hold hands?

3. And finally, come on guys, it just looks better! The "extra inch" it adds is more than compensated by the apparent increase in girth.

Not much more we can say, aside from thanks for the comments that are still coming in about the first post. It's obviously a touchy issue. Cough.

Some interesting foreskin envy links:

- Artificial Foreskin

- The Fate of the Foreskin: A Study of Circumcision?

- Would you rather be circumcised or uncircumcised?

- Speaking of Uncut

- The Unkindest Cut of All: Circumcision no longer a popular choice?

Use Buzzfuse* to easily rate, review, and share this item

Thursday, November 2, 2006

MANTO WATCH: Condom Crusader

Wah! Is this a joke? Is this a viral campaign? Is she a virus? No-one knows, but recently spotted on CherryFlava was a Manto video for the Pronto Condoms brand.

She dicey, she's quick and she's more slippery than Zuma in the shower. Pranto Manto.

Get the video here!